02/11/2014 22:57 02/11/2014 22:48
The trial was a sham. The International community, legal experts, authorities, the United Nations, and human rights groups have expressed their concerns regarding the Tribunal and criticised it for blatantly disregarding fair trial standards. The international community has also criticised the law governing the Tribunal, ICTA 1973, for being far below any national or international standards. Apart from the law being substandard and mean towards the defendants, the Tribunal itself was deliberately unfair, which became clear during the trial proceeding:
1. As with all other cases before the Tribunals, there was clear evidence of collusion between the Tribunal, the prosecution, and members of an anti-Jamaat organization during the trial process. The law minister and the prosecutors have regular “strategy meetings” with the judges in secret, which is inappropriate and unfair.
2. Emails revealed during the “Skypegate” or “Skype Scandal” suggest that many orders of the court, including the cognisance of the false charges against Kamaruzzaman, was written by Ziauddind Ahmed, an outsider of the court whose role in the tribunal was kept secret by the government from the public. Later findings suggest that the Ministry of Law was also involved in writing orders that were handed down by the courts.
3. The defence efforts were severely damaged when the tribunal decided to limit the number of defence witnesses. The defence lawyers were allowed to present only 5 witnesses in defence of 7 charges. In comparison, the prosecution was allowed to present an unlimited number of witnesses at any stage of the trial and ended up producing 18. When the defence asked for the same facility, they were denied.
4. The defence were also not allowed to produce some crucial evidence before the court. Those evidences include the proof of extortion, abuse of power, blackmailing, and forgery used by the state to manipulate the evidences they submitted and the witnesses they presented. Some of the evidences that proof innocence of the defendant were also not allowed to be presented. In comparison, the prosecution were allowed to produce an unlimited number of unrelated things as evidence at any stage of the trial. They were even allowed to refer to hearsay and propaganda materials as evidence.
5. The pride of Bangladesh’s legal system, the CrPC Act of 1898 (Code of Criminal Procedure) – the meticulous legal procedure through which an evidence or a witness must go through to prove credibility before the court, was completely ignored to allow the prosecution to present false evidences and shoddy shady witnesses.
6. The defence were not allowed to cross examine the state’s Investigation Officer (IO) even after repeated requests and written applications from the defence counsels. As a result, the sheer volume of inconsistencies between witness testimony and IO’s account remains completely unresolved and unanswered in this case.
7. The defence were not allowed to effectively cross examine prosecution witnesses, when such questioning adversely affected witness credibility. Moreover, the judges intervened regularly to sabotage cross examination by the defence.
8. The defence were not allowed to appeal against interlocutory orders given by the tribunal to any higher authority/court. This means that, although the final judgment of the tribunal could be challenged at the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, the defence could not appeal against other orders passed by the court – which is a violation of state’s own legal standards. For example, though the limitation of defence witnesses and not being able to cross-examine the IO was particularly damaging to the accused, the defence was not allowed to appeal against such damaging orders.
9. Each and every review petition that was submitted by the defence was discarded without giving a second thought. Furthermore, the so called “review” was done by the same judges who gave the order in the first place.
There is no court in the world that is remotely concerned with delivering justice would be so blind, unfair, and politically biased.
Moreover, there are 3 more reasons why I believe charges against Kamaruzzaman are false and fabricated;
1. The charges are newly manufactured and were never heard of! Though the alleged incidents took place more than 40 years ago, no such allegations were brought against Mr Kamaruzzaman by the relatives of the victims or the state until a military-backed Awami League claimed victory in 2009 elections.
2. Immediately after the war, the new government of Bangladesh identified, punished, and in some cases killed the local collaborators of the Pakistani Army. Though Mr Kamaruzzaman was arrested after the war, the authorities did not find any complaint against him and he was released immediately.
3. Mr Kamaruzzaman was born in 1952. During the war, he was only 19 years old! It is impossible that an 19-year-old would assume leadership role of a large paramilitary force like the Albadr or direct a professional armed force like the Pakistani Army, as claimed by the delusional state prosecutors.
1. Summary of Kamaruzzaman case:analysis found him innocent
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